(Original post by JohnnySPal)
I aim to please
It seems to me like there's a distinct lack of accurate information available on TSR, and most people replying to these kind of queries are fellow prospective actuarial students basing their knowledge entirely on hearsay. I'd happily contribute my knwoledge if the idea were popular enough, and we could definitely get a stickied thread going or something (I wouldn't fancy typing a load of stuff out only for it to disappear in a few days, which realistically would almost certainly happen...)
Well, first things first, you definitely meet the minimum requirements to join the Institute/Faculty of Actuaries
, so there's nothing to worry about there.
You will be no means be considered a poor candidate. Employers will consider a wide variety of things, only one of those being your degree subject (though having said that, see my last bullet point further down the post). You'll obviously be at a disadvantage however, so it's very important you get all the knowledge you can and have enthusiam spew from every orifice in an interview, even if it means you rehearse answers. By knowledge, I refer to things such as the difference between life/general/pensions roles and working in a consultancy or non-consultancy role; and for each job you apply to, try and tailor your technical knowledge around that role (I work as a pricing analyst in a large general insurer, for example, and it definitely helped that I demonstrated basic knowledge of how you would price a motor or home policy in my interview, and of things such as how the voluntary excess level affects claim amounts). This kind of stuff will be absolute ******* gold to interviewers and will grab their attention. There are a lot of talented analysts out there with their sciency degrees, but a lot of mediocre interviewees who clearly lose sight of the job itself.
There are pros and cons to getting a Certificate in Financial Mathematics
(i.e. Passing CT1 as a non-member), and it'll obviously vary from person to person. The way I see it, it's pointless trying to pass CT1 before you're in a job, unless your degree subject is completely inappropriate
. So yes, I would recommend it
The reason I would recommend for people like you are numerous:
- Like you say, you'll be very rusty at maths. It will help you enormously for if/when you get a job and need to routinely call upon your statistical and financial knowledge (I have a maths degree so the former was no problem for me, but I definietly feel better off in terms of the latter having passed CT1!)
- It will give you a reasonable idea as to whether you're cut out for the exams, both mathematically and in general
- Passing will prove you're more than capable of performing well in your job (and in the exams). I can't emphasise enough that employers will care more about your ability to do the job than ability to sit some silly exams!
- Passing will also show other valuable skills to employers, such as dedication and ability to work diligently
- It will give you an idea of how much study is required. I had a PM only yesterday from a poor fellow shocked when half the Amazon rainforest came through the post. Each module will need at least 100 hours of work, and unlike in uni where you can ******** your way through to an extent, you WILL be caught out if you try the same here. Trust me on that
- Most importantly though, to be honest, with the current job market you simply won't get noticed. Competition is so high at the moment that your CV will probably get thrown out as soon as they see your degree subject. I really think a CT1 pass will be the only way you'll pursuade employers to invite you to interviews.
So yeah, I'd definitely give CT1 a shot if you're up for it. However, make sure you get a good block of time to do it in. Personally I spent a good 4-5 hours every Saturday morning in the local library (having worked 9-5 Monday-Friday) for about four months, and still felt I could have been better prepared for the exam.
I'm really enjoying it thanks
I'm going to be posting off my app to become a member of the Institute in the next couple of days, now that my study contact has officially come through. Very exciting stuff, not least because it'll mean I'll be a student again! OHaving a day a week off for study also sounds very appealing!
But I really do like my job at the moment, and find the studying very fulfilling. It can be so bloody hard sometimes but I'd much rather have that than not feel challenged by my job...